Last Minute Labor Day Banana Chocolate Cake

I wasn’t going to post this holiday weekend. I originally intended to spend my time “Preparing for Fall” – i.e. unpacking sweaters and blankets, reorganizing cupboards, filing paperwork, creating intimidating lists, etc… But then I got distracted by my bananas. They were dangerously close to unusable-just this side of “too ripe”. I had to do something with them.

So instead of prepping for September/October, I spent a good part of Sunday translating a French recipe (with all sorts of help via Google Translate) from the beautiful book La Patisserie Maison. The book is a stunner – you will want to attempt 99% of the recipes – but be forewarned: the directions are lean (pan sizes are rarely mentioned, mixing instructions are almost nil, etc…). I did my best interpretation of the book’s “Cake Banane-Chocolat”. And though I am still uncertain if “1 cafe spoon” really equals 1 teaspoon and “1 soup spoon” really equals 1 tablespoon, the final cake was quite delicious. It’s not exactly banana bread (it’s not as mushy-moist) and it’s not exactly cake (somewhat less sweet) – it’s just a perfect last minute Labor Day Banana Chocolate Cake hybrid.

RECIPE ADAPTED from La Patisserie Maison


2 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pur vanilla extract
3 tablespoons buttermilk (I used greek yogurt)
3 bananas (smashed, not completely pureed)
200 grams semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Add the vanilla and buttermilk and mix again until the mixture is uniform. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients (note: batter will be very thick – almost dry looking). Fold in the mashed bananas and chocolate chips (careful not to overwork the dough). Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula.

Bake for 50 minutes to one hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn the cake out.

Cool completely before slicing. Cake can keep at room temperature, wrapped tightly, for up to 3 days.